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Dr. Norman Shawchuck has pastored United Methodist congregations in North Dakota and Indiana and is a prolific author and retreat leader in the area of spiritual formation. His contemporary prayer of repentance is so personally powerful: “O God, I surrender to you the habits and sins that, like frost, chill my soul and cause your life-giving energy to cease its flow in me. Uproot me from the weed patches of evil wherein I have chosen to sink my roots. Plant me instead in your field of righteousness.

“Direct the searchlight of your love into every crevice of my life that I may see to journey from this long winter of sin, to once again flourish in the summer of your goodness and love.

“Send the gracious showers of your forgiveness to break the long drought of

spiritual aridness that has shriveled my soul, and grant, my Lord, that I may become more like you and less like my shadowy self.

“This day I pledge to you and to myself that I will begin even now to pursue right thinking and right living, but my God, I need your help. Amen.” [Source: Norman Shawchuck and Reuben P. Job, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2003), 318.]